It has often been stated that a smile is one’s greatest asset, yet it is not always safeguarded as such. Whether you have all-natural teeth or have just had procedures to restore or cosmetically enhance your smile, a mouth guard or a night guard may be the best way to look after your smile. They offer the greatest protection against injury because they are made of a stronger and more shock absorbent material. They also come in a variety of colors to please the active youngsters.
Mouth guards and night guards have the same basic purpose – to protect your teeth.
Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or just a participant in recreational sport activities, a mouth guard is a must have. Mouth guards are intended to protect not only the teeth and gums, but also your lips, cheeks, tongue, neck, brain, mandible (the lower jaw), and the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ).
Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Academy of Sports Dentistry recommend mouth guard use for anyone who engages in sports – football, softball, racquetball, in-line skating, skateboarding, martial arts, boxing, acrobatics, bandy, cycling, discus, equestrian sports, field hockey, ice hockey, handball gymnastics, lacrosse, motocross, rugby, skiing, shotput, skydiving, squash, surfing, trampoline, tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, and water polo – which all run the risk of mouth injuries.
There are several different types of mouth guards, each differing in price and quality. Stock mouth guards are a preformed, U-shape piece of rubber or vinyl that you hold between your teeth. It is inexpensive, but the fit is so poor that they are usually not recommended. Mouth-formed mouth guards are available at sporting goods stores, as are the stock mouth guards, and they are a step up in quality. There are two types of mouth-formed guards: the boil and bite and the shell-liner. Boil and bite mouth guards are made from a reformable polymer material that you mold to your mouth by softening the guards in boiling water and then forming it in your mouth. The advantage of this type of guard is that it can be reformed. A shell-liner mouth guard is made by using a stock tray and a resilient liner material, which you bite into and wait for the material to harden. Unlike the boil and bite, you only have one chance to make it fit. The last class of mouth guards, and certainly the best, are the custom-fit mouth guards that are made by your dentist. Impressions will be taken of your mouth, so that the mouth guard can be made to fit precisely and comfortably.
Quality mouth guards are relatively inexpensive, and can prevent injury or the need for costly dental restorative treatments. The better quality the mouth guard, the more supportive it will be, lowering the risk of injury. However, the greatest risk of all is not wearing a mouth guard.
Whether you are considering general or cosmetic dental work, Dr. Eydelman and her team strive to make your experience positive and enjoyable. The first step towards looking and feeling your best is to schedule your initial consultation. Please contact ICON Dental today at (415) 248-5300, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.